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Megan Blocker

eG Foodblog: Megan Blocker - Food and the City

307 posts in this topic

Hi Megan,

I've been reading your blog all week and I wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed it before it ends!  Thanks so much for showing us all a slice of New York--I can't think of a better way to experience the city than through the eyes of a foodie. :biggrin:

Apropos the above photos, DTUT looks very much like the coffee shop in "You've Got Mail," a movie I love only because of the beautiful shots of New York.  Would you happen to know if this is indeed the coffee shop from the movie?

Again, thanks so much for sharing your food experiences.

Eilen

Hey, Eilen! Actually this is not the coffee shop from You've Got Mail. However, I have been to that coffee shop, and even have a print from it hanging in my kitchen! It's called Cafe Lalo and is on the Upper West Side (83rd and Amsterdam).

It's far more bustling, bright and loud than shown in the movie, but the pastries are pretty good. I used to go there a lot late at night (they're open till 2:00 AM) when I first moved to the city.

You've Got Mail does an amazing job of showing you the beauty of the Upper West Side... :smile:

ETA: Here's the pic of my kitchen showing the Cafe Lalo print, which hangs above my kitchen cart:

gallery_28660_2588_16227.jpg


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Thanks for sharing your New York with us, Megan.

And special thanks for sharing the inside of your fridge with me. :wink:

I see I've got a lot of catching up to do when next I'm in town.

Regards,

Sandy


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Missed you this weekend. We were up in NY this weekend, and I kept thinking, "I wonder what Megan is doing now?"

Thanks for going to Kitchen Arts & Letters. Your pics now proved what I always knew...that it's a very dangerous place for me to go. If I can't go through a B&N or amazon.com without buying a cookbook, there's no way I'll make it out of there alive.

You'd better let me know next time you're in town, sneaky miss! As for KA&L, me too - I really think the only thing keeping my from spending loads of cash in there was the thought of my pricey (for me, anyway) evening on the town.

I realize I never told you all what I bought - it was a birthday gift for Miles, who told me a few months ago that he really wants to learn more about wine. I went back and forth on the kind of book to get him - he's traveling a lot these days, so I didn't think the Oxford companion series was the right choice - and finally found something at KA&L: Kermit Lynch's Inspiring Thirst. I think he'll enjoy it - plus, it has pictures, and who doesn't love pictures? :wink:

Ooh, and for the petless New Yorker, you can always visit a dog park. I used to spend part of my lunch hour oohing the puppies at the nearby dog park.

I used to do this all the time when I worked on Madison Square Park! :laugh:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Yes, I've discovered that the trick is to go into Pegu with only an hour or two left before your dinner reservation...it's the only way to make it out alive. :laugh:

I would beg to differ :wink:


Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

"Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters-it is vulgarly called bittered sling and is supposed to be an exellent electioneering potion..."

- Balance and Columbian Repository. May 13, 1806

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Hi Megan,

It's been enjoyable reading your food blog. You and I live only a few blocks away from each other (I'm on 83rd) and we frequent many of the same neighborhood places: Paola's, Eli's, Citarella's, Likitsakos, E.A.T, DT-UT, etc... Some of my other neighborhood favorites: the brunch at the Vinegar Factory (when I need a neighborhood fix for pancakes on a saturday morning), Spigolo, Sarabeth's (baby bear oatmeal) and Rohr's Cafe. It may have been a little embarrassing for my friends a few months ago when I swooned over the split pea soup at Cafe Sabarsky. Who knew split pea soup could be that good? :biggrin:

I also enjoyed the chocolate "montage scene" portion of your blog :biggrin: When I don't feel up for the trek to the West Village, I go to Martine's on 82nd between 1st and York.

The photos were all beautiful!

From one city girl who eats like it's her job, to another: Good Work!

-spaetzle

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Starwich!  And beam me out to Java Girl, please.  That looks incredibly inviting.

I eat fridge-cleaning salad too, and it's one of my favorites.  Although in cold weather I usually make fridge-cleaning soup.

We always make fridge-cleaning pizza! You discover some interesting combos that way, like, I love grilled corn on my pizza now!

I've been enjoying your blog Megan! It's good to hear about another egullet youngin's life! :wink:


"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Hi Megan,

It's been enjoyable reading your food blog.  You and I live only a few blocks away from each other (I'm on 83rd) and we frequent many of the same neighborhood places:  Paola's, Eli's, Citarella's, Likitsakos, E.A.T, DT-UT, etc...  Some of my other neighborhood favorites: the brunch at the Vinegar Factory (when I need a neighborhood fix for pancakes on a saturday morning), Spigolo, Sarabeth's (baby bear oatmeal) and Rohr's Cafe.  It may have been a little embarrassing for my friends a few months ago when I swooned over the split pea soup at Cafe Sabarsky.  Who knew split pea soup could be that good?  :biggrin:

I also enjoyed the chocolate "montage scene" portion of your blog  :biggrin:  When I don't feel up for the trek to the West Village, I go to Martine's on 82nd between 1st and York.

The photos were all beautiful!

From one city girl who eats like it's her job, to another:  Good Work!

-spaetzle

We do go to a lot of the same places!!! I also love brunch at the Vinegar Factory - their pancakes are amazing - light and fluffy, but with those crispy edges...SWOON.

Spigolo is also great...oh, I do love our 'hood! :biggrin:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Yes, I've discovered that the trick is to go into Pegu with only an hour or two left before your dinner reservation...it's the only way to make it out alive. :laugh:

I would beg to differ :wink:

Yeah, but you have, like, a hollow leg. I mean, I have a pretty decent tolerance, but Pegu can put me under the table pretty damn quick.

Gets Mr. Deragon a little tipsy, too. :laugh: Sorry, John (ducks and runs). :wink:


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I want to see a picture of your sandwich. I'm home days, and had to resort to a bowl of Cheerios for lunch. Sob!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Sandwich pic please I am about to head over and am wondering what you had.


Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

"Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters-it is vulgarly called bittered sling and is supposed to be an exellent electioneering potion..."

- Balance and Columbian Repository. May 13, 1806

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So, when we left off last night, I was gobbling up the apple cake I'd purchased at Martha Frances yesterday afternoon. It was very yummy - not the prettiest cake ever, but tasty. The top had a nice, flaky crumb to it, and the cake underneath was dense and moist, but not cloyingly sweet.

gallery_28660_2588_23530.jpg

Not a bad way to end an evening. :smile:

So, this morning it was off back to work...I had a bit of a train snafu (so much for the eG foodblog transit karma) and so ended up being five minutes late instead of the planned fifteen minutes early. :angry: So, no trip to the coffee cart this morning. Instead, I partook of the thoroughly average coffee at work. We have one of those brew-by-the-cup machines - I'm partial to the Columbian brew, which has a "Strength Level" of four out of five. Oh, yeah - it's a coffee lover's paradise.

gallery_28660_2588_38278.jpg

The best part of work-food is that the fridge on each floor is stocked with soda. You know how I feel about my Diet Cokes...

gallery_28660_2588_21630.jpg

For lunch today, as promised, I ordered delivery from Starwich! My colleague Madhurima ordered with me - she got the softshell crab BLT, and I got the duck confit sandwich. Madhurima is a nursing mother and is therefore forgiven for whisking her sandwich away before I could photograph it. :raz: Here's what mine looked like, all spread out on the desk:

gallery_28660_2588_32582.jpg

My sandwich was pulled duck confit, and was served on ciabatta with three-sprout salad, young pickles, and garlic-pommery mustard dressing (I don't like boiled eggs, and asked that they leave them off). I loved it - the pickles gave a nice crunch, and the dressing was delicious. The duck was moist and flavorful, and the bread had stayed resonably crispy and even warm on its trip over from Lexington. I was not surprised that the sandwich was so good, given my earlier experiences at Starwich.

However.

I was really disappointed with the service. We ordered at 12:30, and our sandwiches did not arrive until after 2:00. And when the delivery man finally arrived, he had no change whatsoever. I would much rather have spent ten minutes walking there and back than waiting an hour and a half for lunch. Plus, they put an egg on the sandwich, even though I asked for none - there was only one, and I get the feeling that whoever made the sandwich realized that the order said "no eggs" and took off what they'd put on, but missed one.

I will definitely go back to Starwich, but I don't think I'll order delivery again. :sad:

So, now I'm home and gearing up for dinner...which I should probably make soon, because I'm a starvin' marvin.


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Hi Megan,

I finally got a chance to pop back in and catch up on your blog. You are a wonderful ambassador for the city. Beautiful job on the blog! As a fellow petite flower (hehe) I can totally agree that size is irrelevant to quantity of food or drink consumability.

My husband when we first started dating was always shocked at how much I could put away :biggrin: Unfortunately, once you hit your mid thirtys... ah, life is so very cruel. Just when I found the fabulous food and could afford the good stuff, I can't eat nearly so much...sigh... :raz:

Thanks again for a wonderful week!

Genny

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I want to see a picture of your sandwich.  I'm home days, and had to resort to a bowl of Cheerios for lunch.  Sob!

Sandwich pic please I am about to head over and am wondering what you had.

Ask and ye shall receive, my lovelies! See above! :raz:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Too bad about the delivery service, Megan. (I wonder if Spiro is reading.) Anyway, I would probably react as you did, since it was good -- continue to be a customer, but not for delivery. Unless, you contact them about it and perhaps they would comp. you, and you would try again. The sandwich insides looked like they were tucked in there nicely, instead of hanging all out. So, well constructed and good tasting... sounds good!


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Yes, I've discovered that the trick is to go into Pegu with only an hour or two left before your dinner reservation...it's the only way to make it out alive. :laugh:

I would beg to differ :wink:

Yeah, but you have, like, a hollow leg. I mean, I have a pretty decent tolerance, but Pegu can put me under the table pretty damn quick.

Gets Mr. Deragon a little tipsy, too. :laugh: Sorry, John (ducks and runs). :wink:

I have no idea what you are talking about. I only drink water at Pegu.

:rolleyes:


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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I have no  idea what you are talking about.  I only drink water at Pegu.

:rolleyes:

How true, my teetotaling friend. I must have been thinking of someone else. :laugh:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Megan,

I've been enjoying your blog - as a New Yorker, it's always a pleasure to see someone reveal the city for the wonderful place that it is. And the UES is the neighborhood I frequent least, so it's as informative for me as well!

Ellen

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Dinner tonight was another one of my all-time favorites...chicken Milanese. I really love making it, even though it dirties more dishes than a lot of my other weeknight meals. :laugh:

I start out by pounding a chicken breast with my trusty rolling pin - the one I learned to make pie crust on! Since I freeze chicken breasts individually in Ziploc bags, I just pound it in the bag.

gallery_28660_2588_8805.jpg

I let the chicken hang out for a few minutes while I make the salad to go on top of the finished dish...it should be tomatoes, red onion and argula, but since I have three romaine hearts in the fridge, romaine it is! Usually I make a lemon vinaigrette for this dish, but since I still have dressing left over from Saturday's dinner, I just used that instead.

Next up, I rinsed and patted the chicken dry, then dipped it in three things: flour seasoned with salt and pepper, egg mixed with a little water, and bread crumbs mixed with parmaggiano reggiano, minced parsley, and minced garlic.

gallery_28660_2588_16433.jpg

I cook the chicken up in a skillet with a little vegetable oil - it takes about two minutes per side or so to get nice and golden brown...

gallery_28660_2588_52499.jpg

I was feeling really hungry tonight (though I think my eyes were bigger than my stomach, since I'm now really full), so I made a small dish of capellini with garlic, olive oil and hot peppper flakes to go along with the chicken...

gallery_28660_2588_21124.jpg

gallery_28660_2588_30902.jpg

I really do love this chicken - the hot chicken with the cold salad is just such a nice, satisfying combination. It's not too heavy, and yet it's the ultimate comfort food. Plus, it's all meant to be eaten together, and I really enjoy a mix of textures.

And, since I have three leftover cremes hanging out in the fridge, I figured I'd better do a little brulee-ing! Here's the before:

gallery_28660_2588_16559.jpg

And the after...

gallery_28660_2588_6340.jpg

Ugh, so full... :laugh:


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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dang! you eat well!!!

now I want chicken milanese for dinner tomorrow.


Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Megan,

Just another thank you for this wonderful blog. I've really enjoyed seeing the new places in my old stomping grounds. :biggrin:


Ilene

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Let's see your brulee tool, Megan! (I use a huge propane torch)


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Megan,

I've been enjoying your blog - as a New Yorker, it's always a pleasure to see someone reveal the city for the wonderful place that it is.  And the UES is the neighborhood I frequent least, so it's as informative for me as well! 

Ellen

Thanks, Ellen! And thanks, Danielle. I don't usually eat so much for dinner...don't know why I was so hungry. I think I stretched my stomach at Babbo. :laugh:

I'm off to bed now, but am thinking about breakfast tomorrow...an egg sandwich of some kind is in my future, I think. As per your request, of course. :wink:

Anything people would like to see me eat for lunch or dinner tomorrow? I'm thinking of making breakfast for dinner tomorrow night, in celebration of Gilmore Girls - I feel like they would eat breakfast for dinner. Pancakes or french toast, people? Let me know what you think...


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Megan, I finally thought of something that puts your blog into perspective for me. I've been marveling - at your beeeyootiful photos, your eloquent blog, your energy, your high spirits, and your fine cookery! Yet you're so young! Can I be that much older than you? (Well yes, I could be your mother, and I grew up about 50 miles south of where your mother lives now, but aside from that... :raz: )

Here's what brings it home: when I was about 23 - so not that much younger than you are now - I threw a dinner party for some friends. It was a fondue party. There were dipping sauces. I've forgotten most of them: they were good, so not worthy of a story. One sauce, however, called for 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely. I started on the first clove. I peeled, and chopped, and peeled, and chopped, and peeled and chopped some more. Then the second clove. Finally, partway through the second "clove" of garlic, I decided enough was enough, and I stopped, and made the dipping sauce with that half-amount of garlic.

Everybody, including me, took one taste of that sauce and politely left it alone after that. I've never had anything with so much garlic heat, before or since.

You've figured out by now, I hope, that what I thought was a clove of garlic was actually a head of garlic? Whew. That was a LOT of garlic. :blink:

I look at how you cook and eat, and your age, and how I cooked and ate at that age, and I think: you're at least 10 years ahead of me on your knowledge, your savoir-faire. How wonderful!

Way to go, girl! And great blog! Thanks! :biggrin:


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My niece volunteered to make dinner and prepared this chicken dish for us just a couple of days ago! We are on the same wavelength with you in New York! Wow!

I just love your blog :smile:

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      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Pille
      Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!
      I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country
      A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh
      I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

      This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view
      The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

      It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer
      Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time
      Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

      Head ööd! [Good night!]
      I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
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